FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Not much has changed in the past few weeks for Fort Wayne resident Nick Herrold.
“I’ve just been trying to almost handle my life just as it goes,” he said.
He’s heard about the Delta variant, but has one major question about it.
“Is it mutating because of the vaccines?,” he asked. “If there’s no vaccines, would those variants be here?”
Indiana University epidemiology professor Brian Dixon says yes, mutations are a “normal biological phenomenon.”
And the vaccine helps by putting more barriers in place.
“It’s going to take extra steps if you will to try to evade our vaccines, evade our precautions that people are putting in place,” Dixon said.
So what’s different about Delta?
The symptoms are similar to the other variants.
“Loss of taste and smell [are] also very common symptoms, but you know headache, fever, feeling like you have a cold, feeling very tired, weak,” Dixon said.
But this variant spreads more efficiently.
“The Alpha variant for example spread about 50% more than the original strain of COVID-19 that we were dealing with last year,” Dixon said. “And then the Delta variant is sort of another 20% on top of that.”
And it puts unvaccinated people even more at risk.
“If you’re unvaccinated and you’re doing normal activities and you’re not protecting yourself, you should be concerned with this variant because it does put you at higher risk of entering the hospital,” Dixon said.
Because of that, he recommends people get vaccinated, mask up and continue to distance.
“We have to continue to be on our guard for a little bit longer,” he said.
Dixon also said Indiana currently has over 200 known cases of the Delta variant.
Nationally, it makes up over 50% of coronavirus cases.